Director: Vipul Amrutlal Shah
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Salman Khai, Asin, Rannvijay Singh, Aditya Roy Kapoor.
Information: Contains moderate sex references, drug use and one use of strong language
Running time: 152 mins
BBFC cert: 12A
Release date: 30 October 2009 by Studio 18
Childhood friends Arjun and Manu have little in common except their family's vague connection with music. Arjun dreams of singing on the Wembley stage fulfilling his grandfather's dream. But talented Manu (Salman) is only happy romancing the village belles and enjoying life to the fullest.
When he arrives to London, Arjun diligently pursues his dream with the help of two Pakistani brothers and a music enthusiast by the name of Priya (Asin). Meanwhile, Manu starts his musical profession in Punjab playing at wedding celebrations.
But when Arjun invites Manu to London making him part of his band, Arjun realises he's created the biggest threat and obstacle to his own ambitions. Manu ‘s irreverent style of performing soon becomes an instant darling of the crowds.
What has taken Arjun years to achieve, musical genius Manu does overnight. Feeling betrayed Arjun's unbearable pangs of jealousy and insecurity worsens when Manu unwittingly woos and wins his secret love, Priya.
As he battles his inner demons, Arjun devises a sinister plan to destroy his best friend.
So Arjun sends a naive Mannu on a downward spiral of sex and drugs just before a show at Wembley, a venue where Arjun hopes to have his moment of glory. . .
The basic concept of director Vipul Shah’s film has been borrowed from movies like Amadeus and Shakalaka Boom Boom.
Shah gives his lavishly mounted canvas a new look despite a predictable storyline. Refreshing choreography and cinematography also form part of the highlights for this musical.
The film lacks the much needed edge due to poor editing. For instance, the film’s climax should have ended at the Wembley concert. But instead, the story drags back to Punjab.
A tighter screenplay would have increased the intensity of storyline making it more appealing and believable. For example, the way Arjun forms his band in Trafalgar Square is not convincing at all.
Ajay Devgan effectively portrays the intensity and anguish of Arjun’s life-time dream through his eyes. But it is Salman Khan who catches your attention as the flirtatious naive character, Manu. His funny one-liners bring a smile throughout the movie.
Compared to her role in Ghajani, South Indian beauty Asin has little scope to exhibit her acting talent.
Unlike Shah’s Namestay London, London Dreams is made for a British Asian audience with its western style storyline and London locales. Should strongly appeal to all UK fans.
Reviewed by Manish Gajjar
BBC Bollywood Correpondent